2015 ASCoN Conference – the 4th P is for People

There were over 280 participants at this year’s ASCoN conference in Kathmandu, a number that is increasing year on year.  The turnout at the conference not only demonstrates the increase in numbers of SCI professionals across Asia, but it also reveals a keen desire to enhance the level of professionalism in this distinctive area of expertise.


The ASCoN conference promotes co-operation and sharing of skills, knowledge and ideas between ASCoN members. It brings together health care professionals, persons living with spinal injury, policy makers and managers from around the globe.  It connects PEOPLE.  Here’s how:

  • It connects those with many years SCI experience with those who are in the early stages of their career.
  • It allows for the development of skills and sharing of knowledge by building the confidence of practitioners through workshops and symposiums.
  • It allows those early in their career, the opportunity to present papers to a broad audience who provide constructive feedback on the content.
  • It allows for research findings to be presented, discussed and critiqued with global colleagues.
  • It elevates the level of professionalism in the growing SCI field across Asia.

I saw it with my own eyes – ASCoN colleagues are eager to share their knowledge and experiences and learn from one another.  Those more mature in their careers are eager to bring on the next generation of SCI professionals.

It’s what makes the annual ASCoN conference so special.

The following are photos of many of the conference participants actively part-taking in the various presentations, workshops and symposiums.

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Thanks to all who gave so freely of their time, knowledge and expertise at the 14th Annual ASCoN Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal.



About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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